The thinking was that Phil Mickelson would always be the US Ryder Cup skipper at Bethpage Black in 2025. In among the boisterous New York crowds the six-time Major winner would take the helm, whoop things up to just the right levels and ride off into the sunset a victorious Ryder Cup captain.
He had been a vice-captain at the rout at Whistling Straits in 2021 and he knows the competition better than anyone. He'd played a record 12 times as a player so nobody, even Tiger Woods, deserves the nod more than him and, at 55, then would be the perfect timing.
Better still the home team rarely loses so the strong likelihood would be that things would go his way.
Then LIV Golf happened and Mickelson wasn't involved in Rome for the first time since 1995 when he made his debut. Of the LIV brigade only Brooks Koepka was involved on either side due to the lack of any qualifying points outside of the Majors.
Speaking on ESPN's The Pat McAfee Show Mickelson ruled out any chance of him leading the Americans off in 2025 as they look to regain the trophy.
"I don't feel I'm the right guy to be involved with the team," he told ESPN's The Pat McAfee Show. "I'm a very divisive character right now, if you will, and I understand that.
"The players on the PGA Tour, there's a lot of hostilities towards me, and I don't feel I'd be the best leader for them. I knew I was going to take some hits going forward, and I'm OK with that.
"And as a divisive individual. I don't think I'm the best unifier going forward for the Ryder Cup, and that's fine because I've had so many great memories with it."
If you were to listen to the American players over the years then Mickelson's name is quickly mentioned as the biggest voice in the locker room and an all-round brilliant team person. In 2014 he was the one to speak out against Tom Watson at Gleneagles and he has often stepped in to take the heat off his team-mates.
Those days, for now, seem to be gone though you would suspect, with his pedigree and standing in the game, that things will change in the years to come. With the merger talks between LIV and the PGA Tour continuing into this year the golfing world will look very different and characters like Mickelson will return to the forefront of things.
Other players have lobbied for Woods to step up – we already know that Luke Donald will be the European skipper for a second time – so, who knows, maybe his old adversary will turn to him as an assistant at Bethpage in a final healing of the old wounds.
As we've seen in the past two and a half years, stranger things have happened,